Roy Herron

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Roy Herron
Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party
In office
2013 – Incumbent
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 24th district
In office
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 76 district
In office
Personal details
Born (1953-09-30) September 30, 1953 (age 61)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Nancy Herron
Children Three
Residence Dresden, Tennessee
Alma mater Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D.)
Vanderbilt University Divinity School (M.Div.)
University of Tennessee at Martin (B.A.)
Profession Attorney, former United Methodist minister
Religion Methodist

Roy Herron is Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. He was previously the Tennessee State Senator for the 24th district. He was defeated as the 2010 Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 8th congressional district November 2, 2010.

The district encompasses Benton, Decatur, Henry, Henderson, Lake, Obion, Perry, Stewart, and Weakley counties.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Roy Herron graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1975, and from Vanderbilt University in 1980, with a M.Div. and a J.D. In 1975 and 1976 he was a Rotary Scholar in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews. Herron represented The University of Tennessee at Martin, and was the 9th Governor of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, a statewide organization of college students. Before serving as Governor, he was Lieutenant Governor of the organization.[1]

Herron works as an attorney, a businessman, and as adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt University. He is a former United Methodist minister, and is also the co-chair of, an online community for Democrats of Christian faith.

Tennessee Legislature[edit]

Herron was first elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1986 to fill Governor Ned McWherter's seat. He served in the House in the 95th through 99th Tennessee General Assemblies and served in the Senate since the 100th General Assembly. He was floor leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the chair of the Select Committee on Children and Youth, as well as a member of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee, the Senate General Welfare, Health and Human Resources Committee, the Senate Government Operations Committee, the Joint Tenncare Oversight Committee, the Joint Select Committee on Education, and the Joint Committee on Charitable Gaming.

Herron did not seek re-election in 2012.[2] His Senate seat was won by Republican John Stevens.

2010 U.S. Congressional campaign[edit]

In April 2009, Herron announced that he would be running for Governor of Tennessee in the Democratic primary,[3] but in December 2009, he declared as a candidate for Tennessee's 8th congressional district after John S. Tanner announced his retirement.[4] This virtually assured him of victory in the August 2010 primary; his state senate district was virtually coextensive with the western portion of the congressional district.

Herron faced Republican nominee Stephen Fincher, Tea Party candidate Donn Janes, who earlier dropped out of the Republican primary, and Independent Mark J. Rawles.[5] Herron lost to Fincher by almost 20 points in November in the massive Republican wave that swept through Tennessee.

Herron did not have to give up his state senate seat to run in the congressional race; Tennessee state senators serve staggered four-year terms.


Herron was endorsed by the state's two largest newspapers, the Memphis Commercial Appeal[6] and the Nashville Tennessean.[7]


  • Roy Herron, Things Held Dear: Soul Stories for My Sons, Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (July 1999), ISBN 978-0-664-22147-8
  • Roy Herron (author), L.H. Cotton Ivy (contributor), Tennessee Political Humor: Some Of These Jokes You Voted For, Univ Tennessee Press (November 29, 2000), ISBN 978-1-57233-102-0
  • Roy Herron and Dan Taylor, How Can a Christian Be in Politics?: A Guide Toward Faithful Politics (Vital Questions), Tyndale House Publishers (March 3, 2005), ISBN 978-0-8423-8108-6
  • Roy Herron, God and Politics: How Can A Christian Be In Politics?, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 9, 2008), ISBN 978-1-4143-2305-3


  1. ^ Archives of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature Foundation, Special Collections, Vanderbilt University Library
  2. ^ Cass, Michael (January 27, 2012). "State Sen. Roy Herron won't run for office this year". The Tennesseean. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Sen. Roy Herron to run for Tenn. governor in 2010". 
  4. ^ Kraushaar, Josh; Taylor, Jessica (December 2, 2009). "Blue Dog John Tanner to retire from House". The Politico. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  5. ^ "General Election State Candidates". Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Editorial: Herron ready for Washington". Memphis Commercial Appeal. October 12, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Herron targets jobs, broadband and infrastructure". Nashville Tennessean. October 11, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]